Too Much Equals Too Little
One of Master Liao’s favorite Taichi principles is: “Too much equals too little.” You can use too much strength, practice too much, force yourself into a low stance that’s uncomfortable to you, and quickly find yourself doing “too much.”
“Too much physical effort and you are out of Taichi.
Too little physical effort and you are out of Taichi.”
– Master Waysun Liao
On the other hand, you can be too limp, practice too little, or not concentrate enough to stay vigilant in feeling and following your energy. In two-person practice, you can lean or hang on your partner, or rely on momentum instead of Chi and find yourself doing “too little.”
The state of too much or too little handicaps your responsiveness and limits you. You aren’t ready to adapt or move where the Chi flows.
The Goldilocks Spot
We’re always looking for the balance, the center, the middle way where we are feeling, following and cooperating with our Chi. This sweet spot allows us to instantly respond spontaneously and appropriately. We stay limber and enlivened because we aren’t stuck in the physical tension or ego agenda of “too much” or the sluggish sleepiness and distraction of “too little.”
This is the state called “shoong.” Only this place is the place from where four ounces can defeat a thousand pounds.
Master Liao’s Taichi instruction helps us learn to create gentle and natural alertness and responsiveness in our Taichi form so that we can always adapt and follow the Chi in our own practice or in two-person practice. When we don’t feel our Chi or can’t follow it, most likely we are doing too much or too little in either our physical effort or our mental focus and intention, or our practice over time contains an overemphasis or under-emphasis that prevents us from our full Taichi potential.
Keep following our online classes and/or enrich your streaming video library on Taichitao.tv so that mastery of this principle can be yours!